Kathryn G. Miller, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair

Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program

  • 314-935-7305

  • 314-935-7339

  • 314-935-5125

  • 1137

  • 116-B McDonnell Hall

  • miller@wustl.edu

  • http://www.biology.wustl.edu/faculty/miller.html

  • actin, cytoskeleton, cell motility, genetics, development

  • Function of actin-binding proteins in development

Research Abstract:

Actin cytoskeletal structures play key roles in differentiated cell morphology and function. Actin-based specializations are important in many types of differentiated cells within multicellular organisms. Generation, maintenance, and function of actin structures required in specialized cells are not well understood. Studies in my lab address actin cytoskeletal roles in development of cell specializations and differentiated cell function/organization using Drosophila as a model system. We are using genetics, molecular manipulations in transgenic animals, imaging in vivo (using GFP and other probes), biochemistry and cell biological techniques. Our studies primarily have manipulated the function of an unconventional myosin, myosin VI, actin capping protein and a cytoplasmic actin isoform, Actin5C.

Our studies using myosin VI focus on regulation of actin polymerization associated with actin-based motility and membrane remodeling involving myosin VI. Actin capping protein studies investigate mechanisms and proteins important in generating relatively stable actin structures that are important in non-motile cells. Much of our current work is aimed at identifying molecules that cooperate with actin capping protein and myosin VI in a variety of cellular contexts to modulate actin structure formation and function. Because actin is highly conserved and actin structures function in fundamental processes in all cells, the information we obtain is widely applicable.

Selected Publications:

Frank DJ, Hopmann R, Lenartowska M, and Miller KG. Capping Protein and the Arp2/3 Complex Regulate Nonbundle Actin Filament Assembly to Indirectly Control Actin Bundle Positioning during Drosophila melanogaster Bristle Development. Mol Biol Cell 2006 17(9): 3930-3939.

Frank DJ, Martin SR, Gruender BN, Lee YS, Simonette RA, Bayley PM, Miller KG, and Beckingham KM. Androcam is a tissue-specific light chain for myosin VI in the Drosophila testis. J Biol Chem 2006 281(34):24728-24736.

Noguchi TM, Lenartowska M, and Miller KG. Myosin VI stabilizes an actin network during Drosophila spermatid individualization. Mol Biol Cell 2006 17(6):2559-2571.

Hopmann R, Miller KG. A balance of capping protein and profilin functions is required to regulate actin polymerization in the Drosophila bristle. Mol Biol Cell 2003 14:118-128.

Noguchi T, Miller KG. A role for actin dynamics in individualization during spermatogenesis in Drosophila. Development 2003 130:1805-1816.

Last Updated: 8/4/2011 10:59:20 AM

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